Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome results from a loss of muscular activity of pharyngeal dilators and airway collapse at the hypopharynx-base of tongue or the oropharynx-soft palate. The hyoid arch and its muscle attachments strongly affect hypopharyngeal airway patency and resistance. On the basis of these concepts and previous experience, a modified hyoid suspension procedure is presented. Fifteen consecutively treated surgical patients underwent an isolated modified hyoid suspension procedure to correct hypopharyngeal obstruction. Oropharyngeal-palatal obstruction had previously been corrected or was thought not to be a component of the obstruction. Treatment outcomes were based on objective polysomnographic data and subjective clinical correction of excessive daytime sleepiness. The polysomnographic data included analysis of the respiratory disturbance index and lowest oxyhemoglobin desaturation. On the basis of these criteria, 12 of 15 patients (75%) had correction of their excessive daytime sleepiness and marked improvement in their sleep disorder breathing. The mean preoperative respiratory disturbance index was 44.7 +/- 22.6, and the lowest oxyhemoglobin desaturation was 82% +/- 6%. The postoperative respiratory disturbance index and lowest oxyhemoglobin desaturation were 12.8 +/- 6.9 and 86% +/- 5%, respectively. The modified hyoid suspension procedure appears to offer significant adjunctive treatment for hypopharyngeal obstruction in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
View details for PubMedID 7991249